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UCLA introduces evolutionary medicine to fight depression

Here:

In the eyes of some scientists, anxiety disorders have evolved from primitive human instincts, and examining their histories is crucial for medicine today.

This is the basis of evolutionary medicine, an emerging field of biology and the subject material of a new minor now offered at UCLA.

Thus another course that won’t get you a real job is born.

And get this:

Evolutionary medicine is different from modern medicine because it tries to take a step back to analyze the evolutionary history of a pathogen. Modern medicine, however, often focuses on fixing the immediate problems caused by a disease, Blumstein said.

Hold it. Anxiety disorders are not a disease caused by a pathogen (that is why they are called a disorder, not a disease). They are a poor strategy for coping with the inevitable challenges of life.

It is recognition of just such facts that has caused the recent fall of the psychiatric manual, DSM-V:

Perhaps the deadliest accusation is, as the Financial Times puts it, “By gradually slackening its criteria the DSM has estranged us from our eccentricities, our survivable rough patches, our shyness and sorrows, and made them sound like diseases.” Allen Frances, the leader of DSM IV, acknowledges that the Manual has resulted in “medicalizing” normal human problems. As one reviewer offered, “Fully a quarter of the people in the US are regarded as suffering from a mental illness. People are tagged as mentally unfit, when in fact they are often just having a hard time with life.

Anyway, as neurosurgeon Michael Egnor has noted, medicine (and counselling) are by definition committed to treatment for this person here and now, not that person then or back when:

Proximate explanations are the description of the process itself. A proximate explanation of type 1 diabetes is that it is caused by lack of insulin. A proximate explanation of Duchenne muscular dystrophy is that it is a recessive X-linked genetic disease that causes muscle degeneration, weakness and death. Males are affected, though females can be carriers. It is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene on the X chromosome (Xp21).

As you can see, proximate explanations are what medical researchers would call the scientific explanation for a disease. Proximate explanations are medical science and provide the foundation for all medical treatments.

[ ... ]

The difficulty with evolutionary explanations in medicine is:

1) All of the relevant pathophysiology is provided by the proximate explanations, which are the only explanations useful for treatment.

Maybe evolutionary medicine will help trim the demand for medical care.

Incidentally, recent books on the fall of the DSM and related issues in psychiatry:

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, by Gary Greenberg

Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-Of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life, by Allen Frances (chaired the task force for the fourth DSM)

Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm Than Good, by James Davies

Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry, by Tom Burns
Maybe evolutionary medicine will

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5 Responses to UCLA introduces evolutionary medicine to fight depression

  1. Of note:

    Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint
    Excerpt: The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures and the role they have played in past medical advances.,,,
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.,,,
    Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses.
    http://www.peta.org/issues/ani.....ience.aspx

    But why would such differences in medicine be found between species if Darwinism were true? Well, the short answer is that Darwinism is not true and therefore any medicines developed for humans using other species are practically worthless!

    Related notes:

    The mouse is not enough – February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”
    http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57986/

    There is no highly conserved embryonic stage in the vertebrates: – Richardson MK – 1997
    Excerpt: Contrary to recent claims that all vertebrate embryos pass through a stage when they are the same size, we find a greater than 10-fold variation in greatest length at the tailbud stage. Our survey seriously undermines the credibility of Haeckel’s drawings,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9278154

    Haeckel’s Embryos – Fraudulent Drawing
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....ped-II.jpg

    Actual Embryos – photos (Early compared to Intermediate and Late stages);
    http://www.ichthus.info/Evolut.....mbryos.jpg

    Haeckel’s Bogus Embryo Drawings – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecH5SKxL9wk

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

    Moreover, the anatomy of humans and chimps is not as close as one would presuppose from a Darwinian perspective. In fact, the anatomy of pigs is closer to humans than the chimp’s is:

    Human hybrids: a closer look at the theory and evidence – July 25, 2013
    Excerpt: There was considerable fallout, both positive and negative, from our first story covering the radical pig-chimp hybrid theory put forth by Dr. Eugene McCarthy,,,By and large, those coming out against the theory had surprisingly little science to offer in their sometimes personal attacks against McCarthy.
    ,,,Under the alternative hypothesis (humans are not pig-chimp hybrids), the assumption is that humans and chimpanzees are equally distant from pigs. You would therefore expect chimp traits not seen in humans to be present in pigs at about the same rate as are human traits not found in chimps. However, when he searched the literature for traits that distinguish humans and chimps, and compiled a lengthy list of such traits, he found that it was always humans who were similar to pigs with respect to these traits. This finding is inconsistent with the possibility that humans are not pig-chimp hybrids, that is, it rejects that hypothesis.,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2013-07-h.....dence.html

  2. Our Microbes, Ourselves: Billions of Bacteria Within, Essential for Immune Function, Are Ours Alone – ScienceDaily (June 21, 2012)
    Excerpt: But the microbes that fortify our immune system have not been studied in this regard. Are they functionally unique, or would any species suffice?

    To address this question, Hachung Chung, a postdoctoral researcher in Kasper’s lab, studied two groups of mice, both of which had been bred to lack microbial flora. For one group, she introduced microbial species that are natural to mice, and to the second, she introduced human microbes.

    For both groups of mice, an equal quantity of microbes, and an equal diversity of species, soon flourished in their digestive tracts.

    But despite this apparent similarity, when Chung examined the intestinal tissue, including intestinal lymph nodes, of mice from each of the two groups, she discovered that the mice with humanized microbes had surprisingly low levels of immune cells, levels equivalent to mice who lacked intestinal bacteria all together.

    “Despite the abundant and complex community of bacteria that were in the human flora mice, it seemed like the mouse host did not recognize the bacteria, as if the mice were germ-free,” said Chung.

    Chung repeated the experiment, only this time populating a third group of mice with microbes common to rats. This new group showed the same immune system deficiency as the humanized mice. “I was very surprised to see that,” Chung said. “Naturally, I would have expected more of a half-way response.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....130643.htm

  3. footnote: If a Darwinist really wants to an overcome depression, I suggest dropping atheism.

    Are atheists mentally ill? – August 14th, 2013 – Sean Thomas
    Excerpt: “Let’s dispense with the crude metric of IQ and look at the actual lives led by atheists, and believers, and see how they measure up. In other words: let’s see who is living more intelligently. And guess what: it’s the believers. A vast body of research, amassed over recent decades, shows that religious belief is physically and psychologically beneficial – to a remarkable degree.,,,
    [I hope this next part doesn't upset too many people, but...] the evidence today implies that atheism is a form of mental illness. And this is because science is showing that the human mind is hard-wired for faith… religious people have all their faculties intact, they are fully functioning humans. Therefore, being an atheist – lacking the vital faculty of faith – should be seen as an affliction, and a tragic deficiency: something akin to blindness. Which makes Richard Dawkins the intellectual equivalent of an amputee, furiously waving his stumps in the air, boasting that he has no hands.”
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/n.....tally-ill/

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists? – 2000
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    In practical terms, religious people have the upper hand on atheists in several other areas. They drink and smoke less, are less likely to abuse drugs, and they stay married longer. After a stressful event like bereavement, unemployment, or illness, those who worship don’t take it as hard and recover faster. All of the above are likely to be beneficial to a person’s happiness. Additionally, religious people, as a result of their beliefs, have a greater sense of meaning, purpose and hope in their lives.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    Christians respond better to psychiatric treatment than atheists: – July 21, 2013
    Excerpt: “Our work suggests that people with a moderate to high level of belief in a higher power do significantly better in short-term psychiatric treatment than those without, regardless of their religious affiliation. Belief was associated with not only improved psychological wellbeing, but decreases in depression and intention to self-harm,” explained Rosmarin.
    The study looked at 159 patients, recruited over a one-year period. Each participant was asked to gauge their belief in God as well as their expectations for treatment outcome and emotion regulation, each on a five-point scale. Levels of depression, wellbeing, and self-harm were assessed at the beginning and end of their treatment program.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....are-crazy/

    Research on tweeting shows Christians happier, less analytical- June 30, 2013
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nalytical/

    But are any of those results really surprising for a worldview that denies any true value, meaning, and purpose exist for life?

    The Absurdity of Life Without God by William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: First, there is no ultimate meaning without immortality and God. If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed or not? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. But that shows only a relative significance to his life, not an ultimate significance. His life may be important relative to certain other events. But what is the ultimate significance to any of those events? If all of the events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate significance of influencing any of them? Ultimately it makes no difference.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....9706/posts
    video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJqkpI1W75c

    Verses, Music, and Near Death Experience:

    Psalm 16:11
    You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

    Jeremiah 29:11
    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Joy to the world, Chris Tomlin. joy, unspeakable joy! with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLhb3qUA3uc

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

  4. “Evolutionary medicine is different from modern medicine because it tries to take a step back to analyze the evolutionary history of a pathogen.”

    “In the eyes of some scientists, anxiety disorders have evolved from primitive human instincts, and examining their histories is crucial for medicine today.”

    Hmm. Let’s put two and two together here. A guy goes into the ER complaining of suicide ideation. An ER doctor trained in Evolutionary Medicine does an examination, questionnaire, GAF, etc…. Then heads to his office to analyze the case from an evolutionary perspective to try and guess the origin of the alleged pathogen or primitive instinct causing the man’s depression/anxiety. Long wait………. Meanwhile………..

    Does anyone see the problem here?

  5. depression is a serious problem beyond the free will to quickly fix. It can be fixed, i believe, by the free will but perhaps for some it can’t. they need medicine.
    its not from primitive instincts from back in the day.
    I see it as a simple thing.
    i see it as part of a spectrum in human thinking.
    not our actual thinking, which is in our soul, but rather our memory has been triggered to hold the negative thoughts in a profound awareness. Depression is the same mechanism as when one gets a song stuck in ones head.
    you can;t by free will displace it quickly and its powerful and dominating ones thoughts. if the thought is negative then the body itself reacts to this. A spiralling effect.
    On david letterman a afghan soldier said he believed he suffered not from a damaged mind but from the memory of his experience. BINGO.
    Same mechanism for all mental problems.
    thev flaw was the rejection of the soul as the seat of our thoughts.
    Seeing it this way forces the conclusion the memory is powerful and the problem only.
    depression is the opposite of always remembering and feeling any great positive thing that ever happened to you.
    I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS equals the opposite.
    Depression is stuck memories affecting ones thoughts at the moment. Then this affects the body itself.

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